Start with a landscape, and then throw in a shock of color—something bright and contrasty to arrest the eye. It’s an easy way to get attention, but pull the same technique too many times and it can become a gimmick. If you’re a photographer with the skill of Melissa D. Jones, however, you use it to display the world in a unique and different way.
Many of the photos on Jones’s Instagram account, @rouxroamer, feature herself in various bright red (“roux,” in French) articles of clothing—a gown, hat, jacket, heels, umbrella—but they never come across as contrived or cheated. Her appearance in each shot deliberately works with the rest of the scene.
We’ve long advocated Photoshop Elements as the ideal non-subscription image editing app: it is cross-platform, has a decent Organizer, and almost all of the features found in the full version of Photoshop. Right now, through Feb. 20, Photoshop Elements is on sale for $70 on the Adobe site, which is 30% off the list price. And, if you’re interested in video editing as well, the Photoshop Elements/Premiere Elements bundle is priced at $100 (it is normally $150).
With all the brouhaha over Lightroom CC from the fall, one message was clear: that many hobbyists don’t wish to spend anything on a subscription plan. And, at, $70, this is clearly a good deal on the latest version of Elements.
Joel Meyerowitz is one of the true giants of 20th century photography. His career has moved from street photography to impressionistic landscapes to portraits to still life subjects and more. His series of images taken in and around the World Trade Center site in the wake of 9/11 was wrenching, poignant and authentic: a brutally honest collection that captured the horror and sorrow of those terrible times with compassion and respect.
If you’re using adjustment brushes inside Lightroom (Classic or CC) or Adobe Camera Raw, check out Matt Kloskowski’s latest video tutorial, Advanced Brush Settings in Lightroom and Photoshop, which talks about how to use the Flow and Density settings to get better targeted adjustments during your editing sessions. Matt’s explanation of why you want to play with those (rarely discussed) settings is spot-on, and he even includes a sample file for you to follow along with his edits.
Matt is one of the best post-processing and photography instructors out there—as well as an excellent photographer, workshop leader and all-around good guy—and he’s worth following, especially if you’re inside the Adobe ecosystem. He regularly posts great short videos on his site and his Facebook page, and his Photoshop System and Lightroom System courses are the best comprehensive video courses in the market.
January 15, 2018 by Rick LePage & filed under Workshops
Our friend Hudson Henry is hosting two upcoming workshops, one a five-day excursion in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, the other a three-day workshop out on the Oregon Coast. If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to study with Hudson, these are perfect opportunities to deepen your photo skills with an expressive and eloquent teacher, one with a fine eye, a keen understanding of photographic history, and an easygoing manner. Hudson’s workshops are extensively researched and planned to help you get great shots, and the small size of his workshops guarantees plenty of one-on-one time in the field and in the classroom.
The Charleston workshop runs for five days, from April 13-17, and includes class time and excursions throughout the historic city center and many of the natural wonders around the area:
There’s good reason for Charleston, South Carolina’s rapid rise as one of the United States’ premier tourism destinations. Food, history, architecture, and beautiful wetlands full of birds and wildlife—this amazing city has something for every photographic style and taste. In this small workshop we’ll split time between exploring this epic location and honing your photographic skills and creative vision through classroom training, shooting, editing and critiques.
We’ll be basing our workshop in the heart of historic Charleston, within easy reach of its culinary and historic treasures. We will also take excursions outside the city, to such locations as Bull Island, the Magnolia Plantation, and Audubon’s Francis Beidler Forest.
Amidst the fury that surrounded Adobe’s fall Lightroom announcements (see The Cost of Software for details), it was easy to miss the fact that there are people who actually want to use Lightroom CC, especially for its promise of a cloud-based, device-independent workflow.
We honestly remain on the fence about the bifurcated Lightroom platform, but we’ve also run into more than a few people who expressed interest in—and asked questions about—Lightroom CC. Most of the questions are about the future of CC, especially since the core app’s feature set at launch was anemic in places. That said, Adobe has posted one major update to Lightroom CC since its release in mid-October, adding curves-based editing and split tone controls, as well as a new Auto image enhancement feature (which also was added to Lightroom Classic in December).
December 6, 2017 by Ben Long & filed under Workshops
If you’ve ever tried to print a digital photo, then you know that an image that looks good on-screen won’t necessarily look good on paper. In this three-day, intensive workshop—from January 26-28—you’ll learn how to get great-looking prints from an inkjet photo printer. Through lecture, demonstration, and lots of hands-on work, Ben Long will guide you through the process of editing your images for print. In addition, you’ll learn about configuring printer drivers, using color management tools, and choosing a printer and paper. Most importantly, you’ll begin the process of developing an eye for image analysis and print aesthetics. Though this isn’t a shooting class, you’ll have some time for shooting in beautiful San Francisco, and we’ll devote a little class time to image evaluation and group critique. If you’re unsatisfied with the quality of your digital prints, and frustrated by how much paper and ink you consume to get a good print, then this is the workshop for you.
November 13, 2017 by Rick LePage & filed under Our Books
We are excited to announce the release of our latest ebook, Hudson Henry’s Panoramas Made Simple. Hudson has a deep passion for panoramic photography, a legacy that goes back to the days of film, when he worked to translate his vision of the landscape in front of him into large digital print. Since then, Hudson has become a master of the panorama, and in this book, he shows you how easy it is to ditch your camera’s ‘auto’ mode and create stunningly beautiful panoramas that capture the grandeur of our world—and without needing to buy special pano gear:
The first panoramic photograph I remember seeing was a series of overlapping Kodak prints that my cousin laid out on his kitchen table to show the incredible view from atop a peak in the Pacific Northwest. I was amazed at the scale of the combined scene: it was big, with an ultra-wide angle, and highly detailed. Today, with the advent of digital cameras and sophisticated editing software, we can leave the kitchen table behind and easily merge individual digital photographs into high-quality, seamless panoramic mergers.
You don’t have to invest a lot of money in gear to create panoramas. You can begin using the simple panoramic techniques I cover in this book without purchasing any specialty camera gear whatsoever. If you have a decent tripod, that will help, but you can also create shockingly good panoramas without one. With some care, you can even capture surprisingly good panoramas with nothing but a smartphone.
Panoramas Made Simple is richly illustrated with gorgeous examples of Hudson’s panoramas, and includes helpful tips on shooting in the field, as well as the best ways to assemble your panoramas on your computer (with Adobe Lightroom Classic, Photoshop or ON1 Photo RAW).
The book is available now at the CDP bookstore for $9.99, with a free 30-day money back guarantee.
Click the gallery below to see the introductory chapter, or you can download a sample PDF of the introduction and the first chapter free via this link.
The Photoshop Automator Action Pack has been updated for Photoshop CC 2018, and you can buy the latest version at RobotPhotoshop.com. This is a collection of Automator Actions that allow you to drive Photoshop from Apple’s Automator on Mac OS X. If you’ve never used Automator before, it provides a simple, drag and drop mechanism for creating complex automated workflows. Of course, Photoshop has its own Actions built-in actions facility, but Automator lets you build automations that include other applications, in addition to Photoshop. What’s more, with the Photoshop Automator Action Pack you can build workflows that include branching logic – different operations can be applied to different images based on their size, orientation, bit depth and more. If you’d like to experiment with Automator, a free version of the Photoshop Automator Action Pack is also available at RobotPhotoshop.com along with lots of tutorial videos.
With the holidays fast approaching—I stepped into a Target last week and their Christmas displays were already up!—it’s time for family visits and hours of travel. One of the top items that people pack when they head out on vacation is their camera. We want to capture all our moments: when the family gets together on Thanksgiving day, when the colors explode at sunset over the ocean and that hilarious split-second a seagull steals your kid’s ice cream cone.
Many photographers struggle to figure out which camera and lens to pack, but I was curious about whether I should pack one at all. As I take photos of all those beautiful moments I want to remember, does taking them actually help my memory? By recording the best sunrises and most delicious dinners, will I have a better recollection of all the moments I want to save?
Earlier this year, I found an amazing article by Jenny Chen on New York Magazine’s Science of Us blog entitled How Taking Photos Affects Your Memory of the Moment Later On. It’s a short look into the world of how we build memories in the digital age, with evidence on both sides of the fence. While many of the studies Chen cited promoted the idea that there’s little difference to your memory if you take photos or not, I’m definitely a firm believe in one key point; we need to spend less time with our eyes behind our phone screens and more time enjoying the view.